Landlords Alliance – Emergency Euro Elections Statement21:09 PM, 21st May 2019
About 4 weeks ago 99
The question arises in relation to pet damage caused to a kitchen unit door.
The property was occupied as a HMO which a group of friends occupied. Two of them jointly requested permission to ‘get a dog’ – which resulted in two puppies (from the same litter) being brought back to the property.
Unfortunately the puppies chewed one of the kitchen unit doors. With one exception (more of which shortly) the kitchen is otherwise immaculate, and whilst the doors would be about six years old, they would have lasted for years to come. On trying to source a replacement door, the units seem to be obsolete. I’ve tried everything to find a suitable replacement, and guttingly the door found after a few hours on eBay, which looked like it should match, doesn’t.
As the look of the otherwise matching and very pleasant kitchen is spoilt by the damaged door(s) and would likewise be spoilt by a non-matching door, it seems that in order to rectify the dog damage, it would be necessary to change all of the doors. In the first instance, I’d be interested in others’ views on this position. And likewise the position in a bathroom (at another house) where a bath panel has been damaged (cracked) and where I’m struggling to find a bath panel which matches the bath, toilet and sink…..
So, from that base position of the validity of charging the tenant for a complete set of comparable doors (about 10 doors) so that the kitchen can be restored to its original consistent appearance, there is an additional factor to take into account with the kitchen: a door has been damaged under the kitchen sink, with water damage. This isn’t mentioned on last year’s written inventories, nor is it evident on the accompanying photos, but I can stomach that being a fair wear and tear issue (albeit that I do think it’s avoidable if care is taken), and for the sake of goodwill, I could accept that it may have had some residual water damage prior to this last year’s occupancy.
There were three tenants in the property, two of whom jointly owned the dogs, and each of the contracts was for a room in the house, but with shared responsibility for the kitchen area.
What sort of calculations would you apply to the costs? I appreciate that the doors weren’t new at the start of the tenancy, and so in one sense would understand a rationale for applying a depreciation formula, but this seems a bit gutting given the condition of the doors generally at the start of the tenancy.
In essence the question is generic about charging for the replacement of a complete SET of something where only ‘one’ has been damaged and a replacement ‘one’ is not available, but a comparable complete replacement set is available – acknowledging that some ‘fair’ cost apportioning may be necessary so that an advantage of new-for-old is not gained (even though the kitchen was as new at the start, and could have lasted years).
I’d be very grateful for any guidance anyone can offer – thank you!
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